by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
Results from the 2015 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Science Assessment were a mixed bag for North Carolina.
Among fourth-grade students, the statewide average score in 2015 was higher than the 2009 average score and was not statistically different from the 2015 national average.
Among eighth-grade students, North Carolina’s statewide average score was higher than the 2009 average, not statistically different from the 2011 average, and was lower than the 2015 national average.
In other words, we have made progress since 2009, but are nowhere near the pack of top-performing states.
Perhaps even more interesting is how these scores square with state science assessments. In a recent article published by American Lens, New Hanover school board member Tammy Covil questions some of the gains made on state science tests, pointing out the unusual disparity between science, math, and reading achievement in fifth and eighth grade. Perhaps the release of the latest NAEP scores will add fuel to that fire.